St Lucia policymakers failing to control coronavirus

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CNG Health) – Policymakers, leading minds accessible to the government of Saint Lucia and the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC)/stakeholders are failing miserably to control coronavirus and the economic decline of the Helen of the West Indies.

According to the ministry of health (MOH), January 21, 2021, “there are 331 cases in care, with one of them requiring critical care and the others are all stable. There are 755 cases diagnosed in the country. Saint Lucia recorded its tenth COVID-19 related death. The individual is a 63 year female from Gros-Islet. She was admitted into care on January 17 and passed away on January 19, 2021.”

The most “unqualified and corrupt” government has admitted that hospitals are operating at overcapacity. As a result, the government has cancelled and recalled all doctors, nurses and medical staff currently on vacation.

How did we get here and how do we redeem ourselves from the surge in COIVD-19 cases and related side effects? Moreover, how can the island recover from the depths of common ostrich or simply ostrich leadership?

A new approach and a change of attitude is mandatory, beyond the government of Saint Lucia ten-day restriction period to control COVID-19 spread, effective Friday, January 22.

Lacking a commitment to truth and science, government policy is ridiculous and absurd. Complacency and neglect is profound. Humanity is abstract. Basic decency is lacking. And the connection between the people, the executive, the legislative and judicial branch of government is the ‘hill we climb’ in the never-ending shame to repair our democracy.

Leadership requires truth and facts, and the ability to level with the people. The current inability of leadership to share simple data, and communicate openly with the people is further proof of the injuries we suffered.

On January 16, according to the ministry of health (MOH), Saint Lucia recorded 57 COVID-19 cases, its single largest data dump. Meanwhile, the government of Saint Lucia COVID-19 update has taken action to protect others from getting sick via proclamation January 18, 2021: Signed Order – COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) (Suspension of Liquor Licence) … will continue for 21 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on January 19, updated COVID-19 in Saint Lucia to Level 4: Very high level of COVID-19, adding, “travelers should avoid all travel to Saint Lucia.”

On January 20, the government was forced to concede that the policy to re-open schools, January 11, 2021, was imprecise. And shamefully, had to announce the open-secret that schools will close on Friday, January 22 for ten days.

According to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Sharon Belmar-George, the timeline for vaccines is the end of March.

“We are really hoping that although there were delays with WHO approving the vaccine that we were working with, we are hoping that we don’t get delays in terms of the distribution into countries,” the CMO explained. “We have worked out the strategy, to ensure that those at higher risk [our frontliners] – persons with chronic and underlying health conditions will be the first to receive the vaccine in two doses.”

Medical, logistical and procurement experts contend the CMO expectation is a long shot. Similar to government attempts at “rotation at the provisions market … to try to create some distance.”

On January 19, Canadian authorities advised that they will not be receiving any shipments of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses next week.

“Pfizer has confirmed that Canada’s deliveries will be impacted for the next four weeks. We will see an average reduction over this timeframe of 50 percent of expected deliveries. There will be minimal impact next week… The most profound impact will be in the week of January 25,” said Maj.Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout.

On January 13, a communique form CARICOM said: “The reality is that small states will find it difficult to compete in the market place to ensure equitable access for vaccines. Given the transmissibility of the virus, all countries are vulnerable and should work together. The Caribbean Community, therefore, calls for a global summit in the context of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ACT-A Facilitation Council to discuss equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

The minister of health in Guyana, Dr Frank Anthony during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update said: “… COVAX have reported that they now put deals in place to acquire two billion doses of vaccines and they are working to get these vaccines out by the second quarter of this year”.

The government of Saint Lucia response to COVID-19 will long be viewed as a partisan act. In an election year, time is running out, and without any apparent sense of direction and expert advice, the irony is packed with illegal statutes and constitutional violations.

In an attempt to placate the electoral base, there is no plan, beyond the government of Saint Lucia ten-day restriction period to control COVID-19 spread and recommendations effective Friday, January 22, at 06:00 PM (with exceptions) available here.

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